Positive twist to play park consultation

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Recommendations based on a public consultation on Angus playparks have been described as “better than expected” by a campaigner.

The comment from Arlene Law, from Protect Our Parks, Save Our Swings, came after she read the report on playpark provision which was presented to Angus Council’s neighbourhood services committee yesterday (Thursday).

The report was produced by strategic director of communities Alan McKeown to address playpark provision and development in Angus, and was based on ward by ward consultations carried out after Angus Council announced last year that as many as 50 parks throughout the region might be axed.

According to the report of the 101 parks examined, 75 will be retained, with 20 earmarked to receive no further funding and six which will be immediately closed.

In Arbroath this will mean that Provost Chapel Road, Abbey Green, Drostan Terrace, Newbigging Drive and Newton Avenue will see no more investment, while in Carnoustie Ballister Park will also have its purse strings cut and the park at Ravensby Road will close.

Arlene Law said: “It’s better than expected, obviously the campaign was to save the 50 parks and that’s not going to happen. There will be six immediately shut and another 20 left to run down.

“They said Forfar and Arbroath are actually quite well served by local parks, possibly because when the council estates were originally built they were better about putting them in.

“Brechin and Carnoustie are not so well served so they are looking at building new parks there, one at the opposite end of Carnoustie from the big park at the front.”

As well as identifying the need for a play area near Carlogie Primary School the report also found cause for development in Monifieth, with Ashludie Park requiring enhancement, scope for development at West End and a provision gap in the north-west of the town.

Arlene commented: “That is a positive outcome. The council don’t normally build new parks, they will replace existing ones but they don’t usually build new ones.”

According to the report £1,077,000 will be required over a five-year period for the upkeep of the retained parks.

As the cut off parks deteriorate Angus Council will remove equipment as per health and safety guidelines and those closed will have their grounds reinstated to match the surroundings for informal play areas.

Mr McKeown’s report concluded: “The Angus communities will see little difference in the play park provision over the next number of years and it is hoped that the proposed investment plan will address areas where there is limited or no provision at the moment, perhaps at the expense of over provision in other areas.”